College of Arts & Sciences Biology

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Karen Koster

Karen Koster
Professor
Biology, College of Arts & Sciences
UCL Churchill-Haines Labs 168D
Phone: 605-677-6173
Teaching Interests:
I teach courses in the areas of cell biology, cellular physiology, and plant physiology.
Research Interests:
My research focuses on understanding mechanisms of cellular dehydration tolerance. I use seeds and moss to study how water loss affects cell structure and how some cells are adapted to survive the loss of almost all their water. I also do research on seed longevity, which is dependent upon processes that occur in the dried tissues. Understanding the physical and chemical changes that occur in dehydrated cells may help us improve the longevity of seeds and other genetic resources when they are stored.
Education:
  • Post-doctoral Research, University of California-Riverside, 1992
  • Ph D, Botany/Plant Physiology, Cornell University, 1991
  • BS, Organismal Biology, The University of Kansas, 1984
Grants:
  • A molecular genetic approach to assess dehydrin-membrane interactions during desiccation and rehydration, USDA-NIFA, (2008 - 2011)
  • High profile junior faculty development activities: mentors to USD undergraduate students at the 2007 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), and co-director of the USD U. Discover Scholars Program, Bush Foundation, (2007 - 2007)
  • Determination of the concentration of solutes in multi-lamellar membranes at low hydration using SANS, AINSE, (2003 - 2006)
  • Membrane Damage and Protection during Desiccation of Pea Embryo Protoplasts, USDA-NRI, (2003 - 2006)
  • A physical approach to optimizing storage conditions for seed embryos, NSF-AAAS-WISC, (2002 - 2002)
  • Mechanism of damage and protection of desiccated and cryopreserved cells and organelles, USDA-ARS, (2000 - 2001)
  • The Effect of Vitrified Sugars on Membrane Lipids, NSF-EPSCoR, (1995 - 1998)
  • The Role of Vitrified Sugars in Plant Desiccation Tolerance , USDA-NRI, (1993 - 1997)
  • Creating New Undergraduate Research Mentors at the University of South Dakota, Bush Foundation, (1996 - 1996)
  • Creating New Undergraduate Research Mentors at the University of South Dakota, USD Bush Mini-Grant Program, (1996 - 1996)
Publications:
  • Nguyen, H. T., Park, H., Koster, K., Cahoon, R. E., Nguyen, H. T., Shanklin, J., Clemente, T. E., Cahoon, E. B., Redirection of Metabolic Flux for High Levels of Omega-7 Monounsaturated Fatty Acid Accumulation in Camelina Seeds, Plant Biotechnology Journal.
  • Garvey, C. J., Lenne, T., Koster, K., Kent, B., Bryant, G., (2013), Phospholipid membrane protection by sugar molecules during dehydration -- insights into molecular mechanisms using scattering techniques, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 14, iss. 4, pp. 8148-8163.
  • Walters, C. T., Volk, G. M., Stanwood, P. C., Towill, L. E., Koster, K., Forsline, P. L., (2011), Long-Term Survival of Cryopreserved Germplasm: Contributing Factors and Assessments from Thirty Year Old Experiments, Acta Horticulturae, vol. 908, pp. 113-120.
  • Koster, K., Balsamo, R. A., Espinoza, C., Oliver, M. J., (2010), Desiccation sensitivity and tolerance in the moss Physcomitrella patens: assessing limits and damage, Plant Growth Regulation , vol. 62, pp. 293-302.
  • Lenne, T., Garvey, C. J., Koster, K., Bryant, G., (2010), Kinetics of the lamellar gel-fluid transition in phosphatidylcholine membranes in the presence of sugars. , Chemistry and Physics of Lipids , vol. 163, pp. 236-242.
  • Oliver, M. J., Cushman, J. C., Koster, K., (2010), Dehydration tolerance in plants, Plant Stress Tolerance, Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 639, iss. 1st, pp. 3-24.
  • Lenne´, Thomas, Garvey, C. J., Koster, K., Bryant, G., (2009), Effects of Sugars on Lipid Bilayers during Dehydration- SAXS/WAXS Measurements and Quantitative Model, The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, vol. 113, iss. 8, p. 2486–2491.
  • Lenné, T., Kent, B., Koster, K., Garvey, C., Bryant, G., (2009), Electron density analysis of the effects of sugars on the structure of lipid bilayers at low hydration–a preliminary study., p. 1–4.
  • Lenne, T., Garvey, C. J., Koster, K., Bryant, G., (2009), The effects of sugars on lipid bilayers during dehydration: SAXS/WAXS measurements and quantitative model. , vol. 113, pp. 2486-2491.
  • Lenne, T., Bryant, G., Holcomb, R., Koster, K., (2007), How much solute is needed to inhibit the fluid-gel membrane phase transition at low hydration? , Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Biomembranes , vol. 1768, iss. 5, pp. 1019-1022.
  • Walters, C., Koster, K., (2007), Structural dynamics and desiccation damage in plant reproductive organs, Plant Desiccation Tolerance, Blackwell Publishing.
  • Koster, K., Bryant, G., (2007), Sugar protection of membranes: A trio of mechanisms for a range of water contents, South African Journal of Botany, vol. 73, iss. 3, p. 488–489.
  • Mo, B., Koster, K., (2006), Changes in lipoxygenase isoforms during germination and early seedling growth of Pisum sativum L. , Seed Science Research , vol. 16, pp. 97-106.
  • Koster, K., Bryant, G., (2006), Dehydration in model membranes and protoplasts: contrasting effects at low, intermediate and high hydrations. , Cold Hardiness in Plants, CABI, pp. 219-234.
  • Lenne, T., Bryant, G., Garvey, C. J., Leiderling, U., Koster, K., (2006), Location of sugars in multilamellar membranes at low hydration. , Physica B: Condensed Matter, vol. 385-386, pp. 862-864.
  • Lenné, T., Bryant, G., Koster, K., Holcomb, R., (2006), Quantitative analysis of the effect of sugars on membrane phase transitions and interlamellar hydration forces, Cryobiology, vol. 53, iss. 3, p. 443.
  • Bryant, G., Lenné, T., Koster, K., Garvey, C. J., (2006), Sugar distribution between and around membranes during dehydration, Cryobiology, vol. 53, iss. 3, p. 404.
  • Halperin, S. J., Koster, K., (2006), Sugar effects on membrane damage during desiccation of pea embryo protoplasts. , Journal of Experimental Botany , vol. 57, pp. 2303-2311.
  • Lenne, T., Bryant, G., Koster, K., (2005), Quantitative study on the effects of sugars on membrane phase transitions-preliminary investigations.
  • Bryant, G., Koster, K., (2004), Dehydration of solute–lipid systems: hydration forces analysis, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, vol. 35, iss. 2, p. 73–79.
  • Hejl, A. M., Koster, K., (2004), Juglone disrupts root plasma membrane H+-ATPase activity and impairs water uptake, root respiration, and growth in soybean (Glycine max) and corn (Zea mays), Journal of Chemical Ecology, vol. 30, iss. 2, p. 453–471.
  • Hejl, A. M., Koster, K., (2004), The allelochemical sorgoleone inhibits root H+-ATPase and water uptake, Journal of chemical ecology, vol. 30, iss. 11, p. 2181–2191.
  • Koster, K., Reisdorph, N., Ramsay, J. L., (2003), Changing desiccation tolerance of pea embryo protoplasts during germination, Journal of Experimental Botany, vol. 54, iss. 387, p. 1607–1614.
  • Koster, K., Maddocks, K. J., Bryant, G., (2003), Exclusion of maltodextrins from phosphatidylcholine multilayers during dehydration: effects on membrane phase behaviour, European Biophysics Journal, vol. 32, iss. 2, p. 96–105.
  • Ramsay, J. L., Koster, K., (2002), A comparison of anhydrous fixation methods for the observation of pea embryonic axes (Pisum sativum L. cv. Alaska), Seed Science Research, vol. 12, iss. 2, p. 83–90.
  • Wolfe, J., Bryant, G., Koster, K., (2002), What is unfreezable water, how unfreezable is it and how much is there?, CryoLetters, vol. 23, iss. 3, p. 157–166.
  • Xiao, L., Koster, K., (2001), Desiccation tolerance of protoplasts isolated from pea embryos, Journal of experimental botany, vol. 52, iss. 364, p. 2105–2114.
  • Koster, K., (2001), Effects of sugars on phospholipid phase transitions: relevance to dehydration tolerance, Cryobiol Cryotechnol, vol. 47, p. 26–32.
  • Bryant, G., Koster, K., Wolfe, J., (2001), Membrane behaviour in seeds and other systems at low water content: the various effects of solutes, Seed Science Research, vol. 11, iss. 01, p. 17–25.
  • Koster, K., Lei, Y. P., Anderson, M., Martin, S., Bryant, G., (2000), Effects of vitrified and nonvitrified sugars on phosphatidylcholine fluid-to-gel phase transitions, Biophysical Journal, vol. 78, iss. 4, p. 1932–1946.
  • Edwards, J. R., Koster, K., Swanson, D., (2000), Time course for cryoprotectant synthesis in the freeze-tolerant chorus frog,< i> Pseudacris triseriata</i>, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, vol. 125, iss. 3, p. 367–375.
  • Reisdorph, N. A., Koster, K., (1999), Progressive loss of desiccation tolerance in germinating pea (Pisum sativum) seeds, Physiologia Plantarum, vol. 105, iss. 2, p. 265–271.
  • Hejl, A. M., Koster, K., (1998), The phytotoxin juglone inhibits microsomal H+-ATPase activity, Plant Physiol, vol. 117, p. 66.
  • VavraReisdorph, N., Koster, K., (1997), Desiccation tolerance of pea embryos is lost gradually during germination., vol. 114, iss. 3, p. 1509–1509.
  • Swanson, D., Graves, B., Koster, K., (1996), Freezing tolerance/intolerance and cryoprotectant synthesis in terrestrially overwintering anurans in the Great Plains, USA, Journal of Comparative Physiology B, vol. 166, iss. 2, p. 110–119.
  • Xiao, L., Koster, K., (1996), Isolation of protoplasts from desiccation tolerant pea embryos., vol. 111, iss. 2, p. 745–745.
  • Koster, K., Sommervold, C. L., Lei, Y. P., (1996), The effect of storage temperature on interactions between dehydrated sugars and phosphatidylcholine, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, vol. 47, iss. 5, p. 1581–1596.
  • Lei, Y., Koster, K., (1996), Vitrified sugars prevent dehydration-induced membrane fusion, vol. 111, iss. 2, p. 228–228.
  • Koster, K., Anderson, M., (1995), INTERACTIONS BETWEEN VITRIFIED SUGARS AND LIPIDS-MECHANISM BY WHICH THE FLUID-TO-GEL PHASE-TRANSITION TEMPERATURE IS LOWERED, vol. 108, iss. 2, p. 110–110.
  • Sommervold, C., Lei, Y., Koster, K., (1995), INTERACTIONS BETWEEN VITRIFIED SUGARS AND LIPIDS-THE EFFECTS OF TEMPERATURE ON SAMPLE STABILITY, vol. 108, iss. 2, p. 111–111.
  • Koster, K., Tengbe, M., Furtula, V., Nothnagel, E., (1994), Effects of low temperature on lateral diffusion in plasma membranes on maize (Zea mays L.) root cortex protoplasts: relevance to chilling sensitivity, Plant, Cell & Environment, vol. 17, iss. 12, p. 1285–1294.
  • Koster, K., Webb, M. S., Bryant, G., Lynch, D. V., (1994), Interactions between soluble sugars and POPC (1-palmitoyl-2-oleoylphosphatidylcholine) during dehydration: vitrification of sugars alters the phase behavior of the phospholipid, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Biomembranes, vol. 1193, iss. 1, p. 143–150.
  • HEJL, A., BORMANN, T., Koster, K., EINHELLIG, F., (1993), EFFECT OF 6 SESQUETERPINE LACTONES ON OXYGEN-UPTAKE IN ISOLATED-MITOCHONDRIA AND OXYGEN EVOLUTION IN ISOLATED-CHLOROPLASTS, vol. 102, iss. 1, p. 114–114.
  • Koster, K., WEBB, M., (1993), VITRIFIED SUGARS LOWER THE GEL-TO-FLUID PHASE-TRANSITION TEMPERATURE OF PHOSPHATIDYLCHOLINE DURING DEHYDRATION-RELEVANCE TO ANHYDROBIOLOGY, vol. 102, iss. 1, p. 160–160.
  • Koster, K., Lynch, D. V., (1992), Solute accumulation and compartmentation during the cold acclimation of Puma rye, Plant Physiology, vol. 98, iss. 1, p. 108–113.
  • Koster, K., (1991), Glass formation and desiccation tolerance in seeds, Plant Physiology, vol. 96, iss. 1, p. 302–304.
  • Koster, K., (1991), The role of soluble sugars during dehydrative stress in plants, Cornell University, Jan..
  • Koster, K., Leopold, A Carl, (1988), Sugars and desiccation tolerance in seeds, Plant Physiology, vol. 88, iss. 3, p. 829–832.
Awards and Honors:
  • Honorary Lifetime Membership, International Society for Seed Science, 2014
  • President, Alpha Chapter of South Dakota, Phi Beta Kappa, 2013
  • National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences, The National Academies, 2013
  • Harrington Lecturer, College of Arts & Sciences, 2012
  • Treasurer, American Society of Plant Biologists, ASPB, 2012
  • Richard and Sharon Cutler Award in Liberal Arts, USD College of Arts & Sciences, 2007
  • Nomination for Belbas-Larson Award for Teaching Excellence, University of South Dakota, 2006
  • Chair, Midwestern Section, American Society of Plant Biologists, 2004
  • Minority Affairs Committee Member, American Society of Plant Biologists, 2004
  • Secretary, International Society for Seed Science, 2004
  • Vice-Chair, Midwestern Section, American Society of Plant Biologists, 2003
  • President, Alpha Chapter of South Dakota, Phi Beta Kappa, 2001
  • Secretary-Treasurer, Midwestern Section, American Society of Plant Biologists, 2001
  • Biology Councilor, Council on Undergraduate Research, 2000
  • Nomination for Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of South Dakota, 1998
  • Biology Councilor, Council on Undergraduate Research, 1997
  • Nomination for Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of South Dakota, 1997
  • Sigma Xi, 1988
  • Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation, 1985
  • A.D. White Fellow, Cornell University, 1984
  • Graduated with Highest Distinction and Departmental Honors, The University of Kansas, 1984
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1984
  • Phi Kappa Phi, 1984
  • Chancellor's Club Scholar, University of Kansas, 1980
  • National Merit Scholar, 1980
Presentations:
  • Koster, K. (2012, September). Connections, Conundrums & the Meaning of Life. Presented at the 60th Annual Harrington Lecture, USD, Vermillion.
  • Walters, C., Hill, L., Crane, J., Koster, K., Perez, H., Ballesteros, D. (2012, January). Some thoughts about the desiccation tolerance continuum and the basis for “intermediate” seed physiologies. Presented at the 6th International Workshop on Desiccation Tolerance and Sensitivity in Seeds and Vegetative Plant Tissues, South Africa.
  • Bryant, G., Koster, K. (2012, January). Understanding Membrane Damage and Protection during Cellular Dehydration. Presented at the 6th International Workshop on Desiccation Tolerance and Sensitivity in Seeds and Vegetative Plant Tissues, South Africa.
  • Koster, K., Niemann, Z. R., Oliver, M. J. (2011, October). ABA induces desiccation tolerance in Physcomitrella patens. . Presented at the Plant Signaling in Response to Abiotic and Biotic Stress, Lincoln, NE.
  • Koster, K., Oliver, M. J., Balsamo, R. A., Niemann, Z. R. (2011, August). Studying cellular dehydration tolerance using the moss Physcomitrella patens . Presented at the Plant Biology 2011, Minneapolis, MN.
  • Walters, C., Hill, L. M., Koster, K., Bender, J. (2011, April). Comparisons of seed longevity under simulated aging and genebank storage conditions using Brassicaceae seeds. Presented at the 10th Conference of the ISSS, Bahia, Brazil.
  • Niemann, Z. R., Koster, K. (2011, April). Desiccation and freezing tolerance of a dehydrin knockout line of the moss Physcomitrella patens. Presented at the IdeaFest, USD.
  • Koster, K., Balsamo, R. A., Espinoza, C., Oliver, M. J. (2010, August). Desiccation sensitivity and tolerance in the moss Physcomitrella patens: assessing limits and damage. . Presented at the Plant Biology 2010, Montreal, Canada.